Checking suppliers organic certification
This is a reminder of the importance to ensure that all your suppliers hold valid organic certification. Article 29.2 of EC reg 834/2007 requires that you check this:
“The operator shall verify the documentary evidence (i.e. certificates/schedule) of their suppliers.”
Soil Association Certification will issue a non-compliance should you not have checked your supplier’s organic certificate, and the organic status of the raw materials or products purchased from them may be withdrawn.
The only activity that falls outside of the scope of the regulation is where a company is selling retail packed product directly to the end consumer, where they have had no interaction with the producing or preparing of the product. All other activities, including wholesaling, requires organic certification.
This applies to farms purchasing organic seed, forage and compound feed. The company you are buying from must have organic certification.
Steps you can take to ensure that your supplier is certified:
1: Request copies of their certification documents
2: Check they are in date
3: Check they are in the name of the company that you are purchasing from (i.e. that your supplier has not given you certificates of someone further back down the supply chain)
4: Ensure that you regularly check your supplier’s organic status to ensure you receive updated documents when the previous ones expire
5: Build it into your procedures to ensure the checks are done
- If your supplier says the renewed documents are "on their way", any order you place is at your own risk. Without organic certification in place, operators must not sell organic and the goods may lose their organic status.
- BIOC is a useful resource to check the organic status of some operators. All certified organic operators are listed on there; however, please note: not all countries have now joined, so it is not an exhaustive list.